It is the Eve of the 100 Year Anniversary of the Mother of God’s first appearance to the shepherd children, Jacinta, Francesco, and Lucia in Fatima, Portugal in 1917.
There is a sense of anticipation. She’s made herself known before.
She’s come to help us back to our faith. She’s a Mother and she longs for her children to be at peace.
Will we hear her call to draw near to her? Will we help our brothers and sisters on the way back to life? Does it matter to us still today?
The message of her tender concern is hard to refuse.
Donna-Marie Cooper O’Boyle, a well known Catholic author, has given us a great gift in this book as she writes about the awe inspiring events at Fatima. Adding to the accurate and well described historical background, O’Boyle offers readers other little known stories, the words of notable people on the subject, and a way to “bring it home” by applying the messages of Our Lady to our own lives today.
Details of each apparition and how the children responded with heroic love to the call of our Lady, leave us examining our own consciences in regards to our journeys in faith. As we read of their suffering and offering of many sacrifices we find our hearts convicted to to the same.
Francisco and Jacinta die young, but not without modeling how to pray. Lucia lives on many decades more to spread devotion to the Immaculate Heart. From seeing the horrors of hell to witnessing the miracle of the sun, the shepherd children reveal for us the reality of the life beyond time on this earth.
Mary asks for Five First Saturday devotion- confession, Holy Communion, and recitation of the rosary. These requests are now made of us, so that we might obtain peace. And so that many souls might be saved by our prayers.
Countless Popes devoted to the Mother of God, are described in the book, and how they all had a role in Fatima’s story. All knew of the consecration to Our Lady. They fostered the devotion, approving of the the apparitions, and wrote to encourage the faithful to turn their hearts back to the Lord. They consecrated themselves and the world, just as Mary had wished.
With prayers and devotions in each chapter, the book becomes an opportunity to change and to grow. When our hearts receive the message of Fatima, they are moved to seek shelter in the arms of our Mother.
What is the significance of this great appearance and anniversary feast? Mary is perhaps giving us time and an invitation to seriously consider our relationship to God.
Do we not long for a time of peace- maybe in our families, in our communities, in our country, in our world? Are we not finding in our own hearts
a spirit of discouragement or concern?
Which one of us would not want to be comforted right now?
Mary wants to help. O’ Boyle’s book can bring us right into our Mother’s arms. Perhaps today Mary is sweetly calling you back home.
Will you answer her call?